Wireless Radiation Exposure in Children - A Cause For Concern

According to the National Research Council, there are three factors that influence the health and development of children. These are biological (e.g. genetic expressions, prenatal influences), behavioral (e.g. emotions, beliefs, cognitive behavior), and environmental (e.g. wireless radiation, infectious agents). Due to the children’s developing minds and bodies, they are extensively affected by environmental factors. In fact, these have a drastic effect on them even through adolescence and into adulthood. This is one of the reasons why advocates are calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to lower the exposure limit of children to wireless radiation by 200-400 times the current standards. 

Why Should the FCC Scale Down its Limits on Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure in Children?

Currently, the FCC’s standards for radiofrequency radiation for the whole body is at Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of 0.08 watts per kilogram (W/kg). Surprisingly, this has been invariable since 1996 considering that a lot of wireless technologies have undergone innovations and have emerged over the past 20 years. What’s more alarming is that the decades-old federal limit was set for the general population. This is extraneous now that more children are using wireless devices and that the pandemic has aggrandized their need to be glued to wireless devices for remote learning. More so, several studies have provided pieces of evidence that children have greater absorption of radiofrequency radiation. These led the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to suggest new guidelines and standards on radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices for children and adults, which was released in their study.

The EWG based their recommendations from the 2018 study of the National Toxicology program concerning the long-term health effects of exposure to radiofrequency radiation. They also drew them on the method pioneered by the Environmental Protection Agency in evaluating human health risks from exposure to toxic chemicals. EWG is proposing that the SAR for children be set at 0.2 W/kg to 0.4 W/kg, while for adults at 2 W/kg to 4 W/kg -- which is 20 to 40 times lower than the current regulation.

According to Dr. Uloma Uche, EWG’s environmental health science fellow and the lead author of the study, the federal government should consider the recent studies concerning the effects of radiation from wireless devices, especially on children. “It has been 25 years since the FCC set its limits for radiofrequency radiation. With multiple sources of radiofrequency radiation in the everyday environment, including Wi-Fi, wireless devices and cell towers, protecting children’s health from wireless radiation exposures should be a priority for the FCC,” she added. Furthermore, screen time for Children and Teenagers has increased significantly especially during the pandemic which is why it is so important for them to be protected. 

Measures to Protect Children from the Harmful Radiofrequency Radiation

While further studies are needed in establishing the safety, or lack thereof, and sustainability of wireless devices, parents and guardians can take simple measures in ensuring the safety of their children in using these devices. For instance, Ken Cook, EWG’s President, urged parents and guardians to prefer wired internet access for their children. They should also teach their kids to use headsets or speakers when fielding or receiving calls, and of course, limit their time in using smartphones.

There are also technologies that can shield users to the harmful effects of radiofrequency radiation. Safesleeve’s protective cases for cell phones, tablets, and laptops are tested to block up to 99 percent of radiofrequency radiation. Get yours here.

Source: Study: Wireless radiation exposure for children should be hundreds of times lower than current federal limits